Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad toned down his verbal attacks on Israel, saying in an interview with American television aired Tuesday that the Palestinians should be allowed to determine a resolution to the conflict with Israel.
Ahmadinejad's comments were the latest in which the hard-line leader has sought to show a relatively more moderate face toward the West, including over Iran's controversial nuclear program.
In the interview with ABC's "Good Morning America," Ahmadinejad was asked if he stuck by his past calls for Israel to be "wiped off the face of the map." Interviewer Diane Sawyer also asked whether Iran would recognize Israel if the Palestinians reach a peace deal with it.
He repeated a call he has previously made for a referendum among Palestinians and Israelis to determine the fate of the area. "I think that this is their right to determine their future, any decision made by Palestinians must be respected. And I think this is a very clear proposition," he said.